Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I Gotta go where it’s Warm (part II)

After the fall, I realized my car doors were frozen shut, along with the trunk of the car, which of course contained my ice scraper. I ransacked the kitchen drawer for the sharpest knife I could find; skated back to the driveway and chiseled my way into my car.

Although they look nice, leather seats are just a bad idea. They are comfortable on average for about four months out of twelve. For the other months the seats serve no practicality at all. Leather will fry or freeze your ass, just not in the right sequence of months where an ass would require either frying or freezing. But truth be told, on this day, the frozen seat served as a much welcomed ice pack.

As I turned the key in the ignition the car made a sound that can be best described as a cross between a wounded elephant and a life-long smoker drawing a terminal breath. After several “just take the bus today asshole” groans and hacks the car reluctantly started. Besides the sub-zero leather seats the windows were frozen as well, I felt like I was perched inside a glacier. The few minutes it took for the heat come on felt more like an hour. Finally, I could feel the numbness leave my extremities; which is always a positive sign.

Because I needed extra time to clean off the car and get the heater to work, then wait for the car to warm up to defrost the windows I was already forty-five minutes late for work before I left my driveway.

Then I tried to make up the time by driving like a maniac because my boss is a jag-off who arrives at the office an hour earlier than anyone else at all times, regardless of the weather. He also lives the furthest from the office which only makes things worse for everyone else. I could hear dickwad already; “If I got here on time, you can get here on time, you just need to leave earlier when the weather is going to bad” pulsing through my ears as I maneuvered through the icy road like I was an Iditarod team captain. It’s just then that my estimated time of arrival was halted by the over cautious motorists. You know the type; could be a man or a woman doesn’t matter. They never go one mph over the speed limit on a clear and dry 70 degree spring day, and ride in the left lane while doing so. They know you’re pissed and want them to move over, but they just don’t give a rat’s ass. On most days their car simulates the lead funeral car; you know, the one that's carrying the corpse. The row of cars trailing are flashing high beams , beeping, cursing, flipping the bird, but that over cautious motorist just doesn’t care, he is oblivious to all and he knows the speed limit and a rule is a rule.

On snowy days the cautious motorist really shines. He knows the reduced speed limit is in effect, he’s the only person on the road who knows what that reduced speed limit is, and by God he will stay 10mph below it all times. He taps the brakes in an exaggerated manner every 30 feet or so, to keep all of the trailing motorists in check, and to make sure our commute eats up roughly half of our eight hour work day.

Another annoying snow day commuter is one I like to call “the tank commander”; Soccer mom cleans just enough of her Range Rover windows to see the road, the rest of the car is still snow covered. She notches small rectangles on the windshield, back windows, driver and passenger side windows so her beady eyes can peer out onto the road. Her Sherman launches snowdrifts on my windshield because I happen to be lucky enough to be right behind her. Of course I’m fresh out of wiper fluid so I can’t fend off the barrage, so eventually it’s like I’m driving legally blind.

I could only squint though the areas between the muck on the windshield. The only car I could make out was a rusted I’d say late-seventies Cutlass Supreme with hanging muffler in the right lane with a memorial label in it’s back window that read; “In Loving Memory of Greg Babchak 1982-2006”. I felt bad for the person driving the car and wondered how they are connected to the deceased and how well they are coping with the loss. But then I came to my senses and only really felt bad for Greg Babchak, well, because he is dead. Then I wondered if the person in the car loved or hated Greg because they paid tribute to him on the window of a piece of shit rusted out ’78 Cutlass Supreme? Maybe Greg was a real prick who didn’t have many friends and the few he did have didn’t want to waste a late model Mercedes window in his memory? If nothing else these thoughts temporarily took my mind off the icy roads and the prick awaiting me at the office…

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